GRAND MOUND, Wash.—A group of young Southeast Asian American students shared their experiences as members of a Seattle film project and walked away with the Grand Prize at the 2012 Spring Youth Forum-- a $3,000 partial scholarship to an upcoming prevention leadership conference.
The group was one of 42 youth teams who won scholarships to the Spring Youth Forum at the Great Wolf Convention Center where they shared their efforts to fight drugs, alcohol, tobacco, bullying, suicide, gang violence and other destructive behaviors in their schools and communities and competed against one another for prizes.
The SE Asian Men’s Film Project offered by Asian Counseling and Referral Service provides high school-aged boys, primarily from refugee families (Cambodian, Cham, Hmong, Lao, Khmu, Mien and Vietnamese), an opportunity to connect with their culture, school and community through film-making.
The project diverts youth from drug and gang activity and gives them the opportunity to learn about documentary making and film production. At the forum, the youth shared the trailer for one of their upcoming films chronicling one of the boys’ decision to quit using marijuana—including the challenges, consequences and benefits he encounters in his journey.
Now in its fourth year, the Washington Prevention Spring Youth Forum is presented by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery and funded by a grant from the consumer protection division of the Washington Attorney General’s Office.
The Attorney General’s Office grant funds the entire forum in an effort to support the prevention of prescription drug, over-the-counter and synthetic drug abuse as well as other destructive behaviors. The grant funds are generated from court settlements with drug companies for consumer protection violations impacting citizens of Washington state.
“The students bring a passion for prevention and a deep understanding of how to communicate with each other to make a positive difference in each other’s lives,” said Attorney General Rob McKenna, “I’m proud my office is able to help plan and implement this forum and I’m pleased we’ve had grant funding available to keep it alive year after year.”
The 42 teams are divided into seven rooms where they first present their projects to each other. Their peers and adult judges then assess each presentation in five categories: innovation, sustainability, impact, presentation style and professionalism and collaborations and partnerships.
The top teams from each room then present their projects to the entire group. Teams receive prize packages for either winning their room or receiving the highest score in a given category.
Along with the SE Asian Young Men’s Group, the top teams from each room were:
- The Darrington Youth Coalition, whose Step Up Campaign was an on-going project that targets alcohol and marijuana abuse as well as bullying, through public service announcements, teen “nites” with healthy activities for middle school and high school students, senior safe night and a poster campaign;
- The Maple Valley Youth Council, who created an original song about problem gambling awareness and plans to perform flash mobs that feature six different murals created by rotating painted cubes;
- White Swan Dream Makers, the 2011 Grand Prize winners, who continued their work to prevent suicide in their school and community using the strategic prevention framework to identify risk factors such as bullying and harassment then working to educate peers on bullying through assemblies, literature and classroom presentations;
- Wenatchee Youth Coalition, whose “Passion for Action” project sought to prevent and end marijuana use in their school and community;
- Raiders against Destructive Decisions from Nathan Hale High School in Seattle, who also fought marijuana use in their school by publicizing the effects of marijuana through a town hall meeting, an emphasis week and a carnival; and
- The Preventors from Kenmore Junior High School, who implemented a “No Name Calling Week” with a variety of activities to prevent bullying in their school.
Category winners included:
- Quincy Youth Action, who won the Innovation award for their “Youth Feud: Drug Facts Edition” skit, modeled after the game show “Family Feud;”
- West Seattle High School’s KATS (Kids Against Tobacco and Substance Abuse), who won the Sustainability award for their program aimed at teaching sixth and seventh grade students the dangers of smoking and tobacco;
- Puyallup High School’s Above the Influence team, who won the Presentation Style and Professionalism award for their presentation on the team’s lunchtime health and wellness displays, including a Jeopardy game testing students’ knowledge about alcohol;
- Shelton High School’s SADD (Students against Destructive Decisions) club, who won the Impact award for their four-part DVD on texting and driving which has been show to more than 300 public and commercial school driver education programs, various school assemblies, several traffic safety conferences and many meetings; and
- VOICE (Voicing Our Ideas, Challenging Everyone) from Sedro-Woolley, who won the Collaborations and Partnerships award for their “Varsity in Volunteerism” program which allows students to earn a varsity pin for volunteering for a minimum of 100 hours of community service.
Contacts: Janelle Guthrie, Deputy Chief of Staff/Communications Director, (360) 586-0725